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Crisis In The Housing Market

Home Prices Start Falling Again

Case Shiller August
Alyson Hurt/NPR

After holding steady for several months, home prices have started falling again.

Prices around the country fell by 0.2 percent between July and August, according to the latest  Case-Shiller numbers, which were released this morning.

That's a small decline. But there's probably more to come.

The market is glutted with houses. As of September, it would have taken 10 months to sell all of the homes on the market. (It takes about six months in a healthy market.)

On top of that, there are several million homes in or near foreclosure that are likely to come on the market in the next few years. The foreclosure mess may slow that process, but almost all of those houses will eventually come to market.

"Further declines are inevitable, and they will likely be bigger than in August," Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics wrote in a note this morning.

Declines in August were widespread. Here's a look at 20 metro areas tracked by Case-Shiller:

Metro Prices
Standard & Poor's